During Bret Bielema’s news conference to announce new defensive coordinator Robb Smith, he also announced that star freshman running back Alex Collins is suspended for an entire week.
Bielema announced the suspension and said he wants to see how Collins handles himself moving forward, and Bielema also added an interesting tidbit: Collins is also suspended from social media, including Twitter, via WholeHogSports.
“Alex will be out this week, see how he handles this week and get ourselves moving forward,” Bielema said. “You’ll probably see that he is not going to be as active on Twitter and everything else as well. He’s been removed from all social media until further notice. He’s a tremendous young man that has to step up in certain areas to get where we want to be and I think he’ll do that.”
Collins is the fourth player who has been suspended for a week this offseason, as RB Korliss Marshall and walk-ons Bubba Crouch and Nathan Williamson were also suspended.
Collins was the SEC’s Freshman of the Year, rushing for 1,026 yards and four touchdowns.
“We’re in an eight-week window of winter conditioning,” Bielema said. “Four weeks have gone by, and if you’re not moving forward you’re not helping us at all. We need to see guys make physical gains, strength gains and then definitely in the academic area. And if somebody is lacking in those three areas, it’s pretty easy for me to remove the football side of it until they figure it out, because that usually makes kids a little bit more accountable.”
Obviously the public nature of the announcement is set to motivate the players to get into gear, but usually coaches handle the suspensions in-house and many are never made public to the media. A player like Collins who oozes with potential is held to a higher standard than most other players.
Photo Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports